'The Rob Bell Show' preview revealed

Rob Bell is to host his own show on the Oprah Winfrey Network.REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

Controversial author and theologian Rob Bell will star in his own television show on the Oprah Winfrey Network starting on December 21.

A promotional video describes him as a "pastor/rock star speaker/bestselling author". In a press release, the network says that Bell "tackles life's big questions" during the show, using a mix of on-camera storytelling and interaction with a live audience. The show "focuses on the universal desire to create a life of meaning, hope and joy" here and now.

"Bell shines a bright light on the topics we most want to talk about but don't know where to begin," the release states. "Whether you're spiritual, cynical, religious, or not quite sure, Rob invites you into the questions, wrestling with what it all means and why we find spiritual topics so fascinating."

Bell is known for his ability to connect with audiences in a conversational but powerful speaking style, for his Nooma teaching videos and for a series of challenging books including Love Wins, which questioned the idea of eternal punishment in hell and led to him being disowned by conservative evangelicals. He was famously dismissed in a three-word tweet by John Piper, "Farewell, Rob Bell".

His most recent book is What We Talk About When We Talk About God.

He recently undertook an eight-city tour with Winfrey on a 'Life You Want Weekend' programme.

Bell founded Mars Hill church in Grandville, Michigan, in 1999, and left in 2011 to expand his ministry into broadcasting. A preview of The Rob Bell Show can be seen here.